Saturday 30 June 2012

Cwmbach Climate

I promise this will be the one and only photo of my garden, and locality (please remove it if it bothers you, Dave) but I find the subject of local climate and its effect on moth catches intriguing, so to continue the debate with Adam:
As you can see, my garden is fairly sheltered. It is on a S.West facing hillside, which means we tend to catch the prevailing westerlies, but are spared the worst of the North and East winds. The house, which is close behind me, forms an effective barrier to cold air flowing down slope from the hill and tends to form a frost pocket, which only really becomes an issue in the winter (GMS) and spring. The horizon visible is at about 900ft and isn't actually the top of the hill.After a false flat, the hill carries on up to 1200ft.


Just to continue the debate with Mark and George re the nature of our garden trap sites, here's a photo taken about 10 feet away from where the trap sits looking more or less south west - I can't work out how to add a photo to a comment box.  As you can see there is little between us and southern Ireland.  Exposure also not helped by being at the top of a cliff...

The advantages are the relatively low elevation and being surrounded by water on 3 sides gives a very mild micro-climate when the weather is poor, and I suspect it is a little warmer when the sun is shining because the 45 degree slope below is hardly vegetated and quickly warms up - although that is debateable this year!  The other advantage is that I have a 180 degree open panorama to the south which is probably helpful when there are migrants arriving.  Oh, and a stunning view!

The highest ever recorded wind speed in Wales was logged at the airport met station about half a mile away - something around 120mph.  I was surprised that the record wasn't from one of the Snowdonia peaks, but there you go!

Cwmbach GMS

As I feared, a trap full of soggy egg boxes awaited me this morning, but despite the weather, I had twenty six species, including nine non GMS species.

The highlights were:
Epiphyas postvittana (this species was almost wiped out here by the 2010/11 winter and is only now starting to make a bid for recovery)
Pyla Fusca.
Coxcomb Prominent.
Heart and Club.
Grey Arches.
Double Line.

Friday 29 June 2012


I ran my garden trap last night and recorded twenty species. No migrants and mostly the usual suspects. The highlights were:

Silver-ground Carpet
Green Carpet
Double Line
Broom Moth

Looks as if it'll be a soggy trap for the GMS, tonight.


And finally here are the two I'm not sure about.  I think the first is Wormwood Pug.  It is the first time I have seen this, and I'm not good at id'ing Pugs so would appreciate confirmation if possible.

I see quite a few Cochylids in the garden trap, and this one looks most like C. dubitana to me, but the thorax is not properly black like the other examples I've seen, and the colours/pattern closest to the termen just don't look right.  It also clearly isn't molliculana or hybridella and doesn't look right for atricapitana either.  Any ideas?

Late summer?

Common Rustic (agg) and Cloaked Minor in the trap this morning - maybe autumn is just around the corner!

Also first Lackey of the year, 5 Silver Y and a Diamond-back.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Rhoose Point

Having said there was nothing of great interest in the trap this morning, I may have been wrong!  One moth (sitting between a Clay and a Brown-line Bright-eye) looked like a small version of a Clay but was unfamiliar so I potted it up.  Having looked at the book I am pretty sure it was a White-point, in fact there were two in the trap.  Unfortunately however, I cannot find the specimen!  So that will have to remain a mystery...  Grrrr!

Thanks to George for posting a Eucosma cana, because there was one of those too so that saved me a bit of looking! Also new for the garden record was Scoparia pyralella.

There are a few micros I am still struggling with that I will try to post photos of tomorrow, including a possible Wormwood Pug.

Coedbach Park, Pontarddulais

42 macros last night - nothing surprising, but Scallop Shell, Dark Marbled Carpet, 2 Double Line and Dark Spectacle were all still nice to see. Of the 24 micros noted included Carnation Tortrix, Epinotia ramella, 2 Lesser Wax Moths and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla were the most interesting. The soldier-fly Oxycera rara was possibly the most attractive capture of the night, this being only the 3rd time I've noted it at light.

Abercregan last night.

                               Green silver lines
                               Bordered white.
                               A decent catch of 41 species in the 22W actinic,
                               despite heavy rain for 30 minutes about 11PM.
                               Notables were - Burnished brass ( f. juncta),
                               Double line, True lovers knot and Small seraphim.

Llandaff North 27th June

Lots of African dust on the car yesterday, and even more this morning. But no migrants in the trap today, after a steady trickle over recent nights. However, 44 species was the best catch of the year by some margin, the highlight being Beautiful Hook-tip new for the site.

Beautiful Hook-tip

Also second garden records of Small Angle Shades and Eucosma cana.

Eucosma cana

Rhoose Point

A quick rifle through the trap this morning and 11 pale form Silver Y's, so I am pretty sure the weather front did bring saharan dust with it.  It was the right colour too, orangey yellow.  Also here's a snippet from Atropos "Night of 26 June: 1 Humming-bird Hawk-moth. Substantial falls of desert dust reported in Lizard village and Helston."

Nothing else of great interest, although a few potted up to look at later.


My first 'full pager' of the year last night, with 50 species in the trap. Highlight was the first Double-line for the garden, and my second Argyresthia cupresella. A couple of Silver Ys and a Diamond-back showed there is some migrant activity even if Adam's dust wasn't African!

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Here is a useful link for dust clouds coming up from north Africa: 

Coronets 2009

The olive/purple version of Coronet seems to be fairly regular but did surprise me too the first time I saw it!.


Ran the garden trap last night and had 25 species for my trouble, including a strange looking Coronet, that had me puzzled. I had to sort things out quick, so I could get off for work, so I took this poor photograph and I.D'd it this evening. I've never had a Coronet like this before.

The Coronet
Other highlights were:

Small Seraphim (2)
Double Line (my first of the year)
Pale Mottled Willow (1)
Blood Vein (1)

Small Seraphim
Apologies for the quality of the photos. I didn't have the time to pose and photograph them properly. These are just I.D shots really.

Gowerton 26 June


Small Fan-foot & Fan-foot
 A nice surprise in the drizzle this morning was Gothic, new for me. Also obligingly comparative Fan-foot and Small Ff

Trapping tonight

Not sure if anyone else has spotted it, but everything outside is covered in a fine layer of dust today, at least over this neck of the woods.  Suggests a warm air mass moving up from Africa, so may be worth putting your trap out tonight with the possibility of some migrants about....

Llangynwyd, micros from 25th.

                               Ditula angustiorana
                                Argyresthia sorbiella. ( correct me if i'm wrong).
                                15 species in total inc - Green oak tortrix, Epiblema
                                 roseacolana and Diamond back moth.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Llangynwyd last night, the macros...

                             Lobster moth
                            Scorched wing. 42 macros recorded including Double
                            Line, Beautiful golden Y, Sallow kitten, Puss moth, Snout,
                            Small fan foot, Green arches and Coronet. Will post the
                            micro list ( about 12) tomorrow. More photos at -

Rhoose Point

Forgot to load this one earlier - is this is a Freyer's Pug too?  It was large for a Pug!


A good haul last night: 34 species in total, pick of the catch was a Broad-barred White - a new species for me and for ST19 according to my database. Other highlights: Broom-tip, Shears, Buff-tip and my highest count of Double Line (20) to date. Also had this somewhat faded Pug, which I think might be Freyer's?

Found this Satin Wave on the kitchen wall this morning, probably the same one that give me the slip on the 24th.

Rhoose Point last night

Recurvaria leucatella??
Mompha ochraceella??
Acleris bergamanniana??
Struggling with this one - grateful for any help!
Pyrausta despicata??
A good moth night at Rhoose Point yesterday.  51 species in total so things are getting back toward 2011 levels here at least.  New for the year were:
  • Mompha ochraceella - (photo above) assuming my id is correct!
  • Mottled/Willow Beauty (is there an easy way of telling thease apart?)
  • Green Pug
  • Cochylis hybridella
  • Common Wainscot
  • Light Arches
  • Scalloped Oak
  • Udea prunalis
  • Pyrausta despicata - there were three of these, and the one in the photo above was noticeably smaller and a much redder colour than the others, and didn't fill me with confidence about the id.  Is that within the normal pattern for despicata or have I misidentified it?
New for the garden record were:
  • Peach Blossom
  • Recurvaria leucatella (grateful for confirmation of the photo above as this is the first one I have seen and its not that common?)
  • Acleris bergmanniana - again, photo above
  • Coptotriche marginea
 And on the migrant front, singles of Diamond-back and Rusty-dot Pearl, and 2 x Silver Y including one of the paler form, so speculation about a little migrant activity recently is repeated here.

Monday 25 June 2012


I ran my 22w actinic garden trap, last night and got 17 species, the highlights of which were:
Yellow Shell (common I know, but beautiful nonetheless)
Pebble Prominent (any prominent has to be on my list of highlights)
Green Arches (it's large and green- what's not to like)
Silver Y (some migrant action?)
The Rustic (first for the year)
Peppered Moth f.insularia
Buff Ermine

The Rustic

Peppered Moth f. insularia

Female Ghost Moth
When getting into my car to go to work, I saw a large, orangey moth flutter out of the grass verge, so I caught it and released it onto some red valerian in my garden. It quickly settled into a vertical hanging posture and revealed itself to be a female Ghost Moth.


An afternoon walk produced Aphilia paleana, Celypha lacunana, Argyresthia retinella, Cinnabar and Large skipper. Unusually, two Valerian pug were netted, never saw these flying by day before.


Last night produced 16 species. Highlight was 2nd garden record of Small Elephant Hawk. New for the year: Dark Arches, Double Square-spot (2) and Triple-spotted Clay (2). Also, what looked like a Satin Wave resting on the trap easily avoided my inept attempt to pot it.

Sunday 24 June 2012

Afternoon Out

Epiblema sticticana
While pottering around my local forestry plantation, this afternoon, I came upon just a few leps, these being Mompha raschkiella, Yellow Shell and this copulating couple of Epiblema sticticana, sitting on a Colt's-foot (its food plant) leaf. Thanks Dave.

The Mullein

Six larvae of the Mullein feeding on Buddleia in my Penygraig garden today. I have never trapped an adult here and this is apparently the first record for SS99 according to my out-of-date database.


I had this amongst my GMS catch, but haven't been able to come up with any definite matches. Anyone got any ideas or pointers? It was fairly large; being 8-10mm long.

Saturday 23 June 2012

Moth Night 2012

I was hopeing to trap alongside a disused railway track (my usual site) at Coed Cae Pica last night, but wind and frequent showers throughout the evening put pay to that idea, so I ran the garden trap overnight instead, with not very good results: Just 9 species recorded - Garden Tiger, Dusky Brocade and 2 Double Line being the pick.

National Moth Night Friday

Unidentified snails

Waved Carpet
 In spite of the wind it was fairly sheltered for NMN last night in woodland on Fairwood Common. 38 species including 2 Blomer's Rivulet, 2 Waved Carpet and a couple of (unidentified) snails 1.3 m up a lime tree, as well as a blue damselfly next to them!

Moth Night 2012 and Cwmbach GMS

Eighteen species in my garden trap, for the GMS, of which the highlights were Diamond-back Moth (2), Garden Pebble, The Sheers and Pale Mottled Willow (2).

Last night, lured out but the forecasts of a dry, relatively mild, but breezy night (poor gullible fools!), Mike Hogan and I ran our traps for Moth Nights 2012, on a disused and well vegetated colliery site in deepest, Cynon Valley.
We switched on at around 22:00 and all went well, at first, there being a steady trickle of moths to both traps, but at 00:20, the heavens opened and there was a mad dash to cover generators and lamps. The rain varied between light and stair rods and showed no sign of letting up, so after half an hour, with flooding traps and necks we reluctantly decided to call it an evening and packed up.

My trap attracted 24 species, the highlights being:

Pandemis cerasana
Broken-barred Carpet
Clouded Silver
Poplar Hawk Moth
Pebble Prominent
Lesser Swallow Prominent
Straw Dot
Beautiful Snout

Mike's trap attracted more than mine and a different suite of species. When I get a list from him, I'll probably post the highlights.

It's a pity the rain that wasn't forecast, caused us to end the session prematurely (how often has that happened to me), but at least we managed to salvage something from a disastrous 'Moth Nights 2012'. Most frustratingly, although the site was only 1.75km from my house, the rain there hadn't even managed to dampen the roads, by the time I got home, at 01:40, yet where we were, it was a completely different story.

Friday 22 June 2012

Moth Night starts with a whimper

Awful must be Moth Night 2012!

Just 9 species in the garden trap last night for the start of Moth Night 2012, compared with 31 species on Tuesday night when it briefly seemed like summer. I may as well list last night's catch in full: Heart & Dart (7), Mottled Beauty, Small Dusty Wave, Cinnabar, Angle Shades, Uncertain, Celypha striana (2), Eudonia angustea and Ditula angustiorana.

I've cancelled the planned trapping at Parc Slip tonight due to the forecast of strong winds.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Rhoose Point 17 & 19 June

Despite the awful weather over the last couple of days (will it ever stop raining?) I have had a couple of good trapping sessions at home this week.  28 species on the 17th, and a remarkable for this year at least, total of 43 on 19th.

Between the two sessions, new for the year were:
  • Small Magpie
  • Bordered Sallow x3
  • Phycitodes saxicola/maritima
  • Brown-line Bright-eye
  • Clay
  • Spectacle
  • Lackey
  • Mottled Rustic
  • Celypha striana
  • Toadflax Pug
  • Buff Arches
New for the garden record were:
  • Pandemis cerasana
  • Small Dusty Wave
  • Bryotropha terrella
  • Clouded Brindle
Just 2 migrants; singles of Silver Y and Rusty-dot Pearl.

There's one tort that I'm struggling with, may pop a photo up tomorrow. 

Looking forward to summer!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Coed Cae Pica

24 species last night including Oak Nycteoline, Green Arches (2), Grey Arches, Coronet, Scorched Wing, Peach Blossom, Double Line (5) and Shoulder-striped Wainscot.

(National) Moth Night 2012 - Cancelled

Just to let you know we are planning to hold a Moth Night 2012 event at the Howardian LNR in Cardiff. I am hoping to run it on Thursday night, but this may change depending on the weather! Please let me know if you intend to attend, just in case we call it off last minute!


Tuesday 19 June 2012

Having trouble with this pug, as ever.
Looks very distinctive and rather like Yarrow Pug but of course that doesn't occur here!
Any thoughts?
Thanks. Chris

Sunday 17 June 2012

Rhoose Point

Spotted this newly emerged moth on the lawn this afternoon - looking at the size, distinctive head shape and the wing markings I'd say it is most likely a Large Yellow Underwing.  Not often I see moths before their wings have fully formed!

Saturday 16 June 2012

Cwmbach GMS

It's been a pretty bad day so far, but I only recorded 6mm of rain overnight, so the rain couldn't have been to heavy for most of the time. With a balmy minimum of 10.80 C, I managed to attract thirteen moths of nine species to my garden trap, for the GMS. New for the season in the garden were these five:

Common Swift
Small Phoenix
Garden Tiger
Large Yellow Underwing
The Shears

The rainfall total for my garden, this month, already stands at 204mm, making this June the wettest here since I started keeping rainfall records in 1994- and we're still only half way through the month!

Thursday 14 June 2012

Llandaff North 13th June

Sixteen species in the garden MV this morning, poor by usual June standards but slightly better than other recent nights. New for the year were Peppered Moth, Straw Dot, Dark Arches, Uncertain, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Teleiodes vulgella and, best of the bunch, Ancylis achatana.

Ancylis achatana

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Rhoose Point 11/6

32 species last night.  New for the garden record were Lozotaenia forsterana and Light Brocade.  New for the year were Elephant Hawk and Shark.  Three migrants - Silver Y x3, and singles of Diamond-back moth and Rush Veneer.

Monday 11 June 2012


I didn't have to start work early, this morning, so I ran the 22w actinic garden trap all night and got 25 moths of 9 species, a couple of which I haven't got around to identifying yet, but amongst the catch was a single, worn Rush Veneer.
Evacanthus interruptus

Also of interest were two individuals of the beautiful but tiny leafhopper Evacanthus interruptus. I failed to photograph either of them, but here is a poor shot of a female, taken last June, in Abernant forest. The colours are much brighter in real life.

Rhoose Point

Could this rather worn specimen be Aethes tesserana?

Senghenydd last night

Skinner 40W actinic produced 27 moths of 21 species. New for the year were Purple Clay, Dusky Brocade (2), Spruce Carpet and Blastobasis lacticolella.

Llandaff North 10th June

A fairly disappointing catch last night given favourable conditions, with only 16 species and all in small numbers (only 7 Heart & Dart).  But 6 were new for the year: Cypress Carpet (2nd garden record), Heart & Club, Small Fan-foot, Wormwood Pug, Epinotia bilunana and Epiblema uddmanniana (Bramble-shoot moth).
Cypress Carpet
Small Fan-foot

Epinotia bilunana

Sunday 10 June 2012

Rhoose Point pics

Coleophora mayrella
Scorched Wing
 I thought the last moth might be a Mompha or Caryocolum, but having perused the pics I'm not convinced.  It's pretty small at 6mm long, and has 3 obvious raised scale tufts along its back.  Any thoughts?  This one is a bit annoying as I am sure I have seen it before....